I've been doing a lot of reading around lately, and what I'm enjoying the most is reading other people's blogs. There are so many to choose from, many of which are listed in my blogroll (see left). However, one such person who has caught my eye lately, for numerous reasons, is MochaMomma, and especially, this post.
Oddly enough, it struck a chord with me for very bizarre and perhaps selfish reasons. And yet somehow, just the first few paragraphs seemed to reflect a great deal of my life.
One of the first things I remember growing up, where I began to realise the colour of my skin was some sort of "issue", was when I started to play the cello. Even though I was only 6 years old, it was noted that there were kids wanting to learn who, well, weren't white. Other "coloured"* kids dropped out over time.
The skin colour hit home more when in various youth orchestras, concert audience members would ask me "what it was like to be a black person in an orchestra, to be the only black one playing?" And even better was to spot random black people in the audience and ask me "if they were my family?"
It came to a head when throughout high school, I was bullied for nearly 4 years, for not being a "proper" black person. To this day, I can only assume it was because I didn't play proper black music but chose the cello instead, didn't wear trousers that hung off of my ass, have heavy gold jewelry hanging off every body part and be able to "bogle" (yes, they asked me, and my white friends, if we could "bogle". And laughed at us when we said no).
I thank the gods that since high school, I've been able to laugh off questions about my colour and how I manage to "cope" in society; but I'm saddened too because I've had to resort to blaming it on ignorance. I wanna say it's ok, I can deal...but we shouldn't be ignorant to it, you know?
MochaMomma addresses education and educators and race, and I myself still have to question the attitudes of colour within education. Many people will say that most black people have a chip on their shoulder, and that's why it's all such a taboo issue. My children are mixed race, or half caste if you will, and it's more than likely they'll be labelled. People will have to get to know them before coming to a fair judgement. Supposedly. But it's ok, Jay, because you're different, you're not really a black person, you're not like the rest of them.
Guys? I'm still black. No seriously! Look closely! It's not a tan, or boot polish, I swear.
I'm not even sure where I'm going with this post, but for some reason, the post I read really struck a chord with me. I barely understand the post (because my nose is stuffy, my head is swimming with exhaustion and I should have been in bed three hours ago). But it still struck me. Go and have a read. And be more educated about colour.
If she goes to Blogher10, and is doing a panel, you can pretty much bet your ass I'm gonna be there.*** Because she's black? No. Because she's "addressing issues appropriate to me to which I can relate"? Actually, no.
It's mainly because she's a pretty inspiring lady.
*In quote marks because being called coloured bothers me...I'm not some kind of black outline that's been coloured** in.
**And incidentally, white folk are blue when they're down, red when hot, purple when cold, grey when dead, green when ill and brown when they want to be tanned - who's the coloured one now??!!
***HELL YEAH I'm planning on going to BlogHer10!!!